This commemoration is a 2018 addition to A Great Cloud of Witnesses

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Last updated: 20 October 2018



, modernised spelling Samhthann, is an Irish folk saint, purportedly a Christian nun and abbess in Early Christian Ireland. She is one of only four female Irish saints for whom Latin Lives exist. She died on 19 December 739.

Of the four female early Irish saints with extant Latin Lives (Saints Brigit, Íte, Monenna and Samthann), chronologically Samthann is the latest, with the Annals of Ulster listing her death in 739. This is also the earliest annals mention of her monastery at Clonbroney (Ir. Clúan-bróaig) near modern Ballinalee, County Longford. References to the monastery continue sporadically throughout the mid eighth through to the early ninth centuries, and then very rarely thereafter. Unlike the three sixth century female monastic saints, Samthann was not the founder of her monastery, but rather inherited after the existing abbess and founder Fuinnech had a fiery prophetic vision of Samthann's grandeur. On the strength of this Samthann moved from her initial monastery at Urney in Tyrone where she served as a stewardess, south to Clonbroney.

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